September 24, 2023

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Electric motorcycles flood Havana amid diesel shortages

Electric motorcycles flood Havana amid diesel shortages

HAVANA (AP) — The youthful folks occur and go on their electrical motorcycles at this highway outside Cuba’s cash the place they perform stunts and speak about their two-wheelers, which would be mainly silent if it weren’t for the audio blasting from speakers.

Cuba has been flooded in recent decades with “motorinas,” as the electric powered scooters are known as on the island, which have been promoted by the authorities as productive alternatives amid serious fuel and diesel shortages, and as a solution to the country’s transportation difficulties.

Authorities permitted their importation final ten years – Cubans cannot import bikes with gasoline or diesel engines – and because then about 300,000 of them have circulated on the island, stated Col. Mario Ríos Labrada, head of motor vehicle registry at the Nationwide Transit Directorate. In comparison there are an believed 500,000 vehicles.

The bikes can price tag amongst $2,000 and $5,000. Many originate in China and are imported to Cuba by means of Panama. Cuban officials say a locally designed electric powered motorbike named the “Minerva” is becoming manufactured at an old bicycle manufacturing warehouse in Villa Clara.

“There is an ‘outbreak’ of electrical motorcycles, everybody likes them,” said Ernesto José Salazar, 20, who performs in a paint shop. “We bought to meet up with 200 motorcycles, honking and listening to new music.”

Younger riders arrange by way of social networks and spend hrs speaking about the added benefits of a battery or the place to buy tires or discover the most effective workshop.

“Fuel is a dropped lead to, you have to appear for it and queue up, correct now having an electric powered motorbike in this article is daily life by itself,” claimed Alejandro Vasallo, 23.

Cuban motorists face shortages of gas, specially diesel, which is also used to energy the energy turbines that feed the nation’s electric power grid, which collapsed this summer. Oil shortages have been caused by challenges in Venezuela – an ally and provider of the island – and U.S. sanctions.

Electric scooter drivers recharge the batteries as a result of normal ability sockets and are out of luck when the provide goes down.

Authorities in Cuba advertise electric powered motorcycles as electrical power productive and as an alternate to a public transportation procedure plagued shortages of components to fix damaged down buses and a absence gas.

“Electricity will often be less costly than diesel gas and gasoline, and in addition, electrical motors are a lot much more economical than combustion engines, you can preserve up to 70% of the price of gasoline,” Ramsés Montes Calzadilla, tactic director of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, stated in an job interview with news website Cubadebate.

Electric powered bikes are switching the city landscape in Cuba and also producing challenges: the batteries are likely to capture fire and their relative silence accompanied by driver inexperience is creating traffic accidents.

The most up-to-date figures offered from the Hearth Department indicated that in the very first 50 percent of 2020 there ended up 263 fires from bikes with gel or lithium batteries, a noteworthy raise in contrast to 208 for the whole yr 2019.